History, Society, and Law

SubjectHistory, Society, and Law
Semester3/4 semester
Study programme:Law studies (Master)
Primary language:Slovene

Students are required to have an adequate knowledge of general culture, an adequate familiarity with fundamental events and processes in Slovenian and European history, a suitably wide vocabulary, and a general knowledge of the Slovenian language, in order to be able to follow the lectures, understand the study materials, take part in the tutorial, and produce seminar papers in line with the requirements of meaningful organization of the subject matter, rational substantiation, and logical reasoning. A previous bachelor’s or master’s education in a field of study belonging to the humanities or social sciences is an asset.  

Content :
The History, Society, and Law optional course is complementary to the Philosophy and Religion compulsory course and represents a narrower in-depth exploration of its content. The course is designed as an overview of those ideas in Western culture that had a decisive effect on the emergence and evaluation of different forms of social life, ethical responsibility, justice and law, the establishment of legal institutions and broader social organizations (e.g. states and religious systems). The ideational and methodological starting points are historical hermeneutics and philosophical anthropology of a personalistic direction, which offers a comprehensive view of man as a free, thinking, emotional, social, and spiritual-religious being. In terms of content, the course consists of two intertwined elements: 1. a cultural history element providing an overview of the main movements and representatives of Western political and legal thought: ancient (Plato, Aristotle), medieval (Augustine, Thomas Aquinas), early modern (Kant, Hegel), and (post)modern (Strauss, Derrida, Habermas) philosophy; 2. a social-ethical element providing an overview of the main historical and contemporary discussions of the relations between an individual and life in society, between positive law and ethics, between freedom and responsibility, between society and state, between the public and private spheres, between the secular and the sacral, etc.


Required readings:

  • Brague, Rémi. 2003. Evropa, rimska pot. Celje: Mohorjeva družba.
  • Voegelin, Eric. 2013. Nova politična znanost: uvod. Ljubljana: Inštitut Nove revije.

Recommended readings:

  • Komar, Milan. 2002. Red in misterij. Prev. M. D. Simčič in Z. Simčič. Ljubljana: Študentska založba.
  • Maritain, Jacques. 2002. Človek in država. Prev. C. Toplak. Ljubljana: Študentska založba.
  • Stres, Anton. 1996. Svoboda in pravičnost. Oris politične filozofije. Celje: Mohorjeva družba.
  • Weaver, Richard. 2013. Moč idej. Prev. N. Neubauer. Ljubljana: Inštitut Nove revije.

Objectives and competences:
The main objective of the course is to introduce students to the fundamental theoretical content and historical characteristics of key questions in the field of Western political and legal thought, which discuss multifaceted value relations and practical relations between an individual and society, between freedom and responsibility, etc. This is inextricably linked to the next objective: to familiarize students with the fundamental political, legal, and ethical-philosophical terminology vis-à-vis the principal political, legal, and other schools of thought in the history of European culture. This all leads to the objective of training the students to understand the fundamental political and legal texts, which in turn enables them to acquire an in-depth ideational, cultural, and ethical understanding of past and contemporary times and ideological schools of thought. Thus, the objectives of the course are an indispensable constituent part of forming a broadly educated, ethically conscious and socially responsible legal professional.

General competences

The main general competences for this course are:

1. the ability to consider – and the promotion of considering – ethical values, socially responsible thinking, and critical attitude to events in society in decision-making, regardless of the object of the decision and the level of decision-making;
2. initiative and independence in decision-making;
3. capability of independent work and teamwork in professional activity and scientific research;
4. broadening the students’ general legal horizons with optional courses, which provide a broader awareness that is crucial in establishing quality

Course-specific competences

The main course-specific competences are:

1. the ability to use the fundamental philosophical and legal terminology;
2. the ability to understand and assess past and contemporary ideological schools of thought;
3. the capability to interconnect knowledge from different fields (interdisciplinarity);
4. the capability to place new information and interpretations in the context of the development of the discipline;
5. knowledge of using analysis, synthesis, and prediction of solutions to and effects of phenomena in intercultural communication and international business;
6. an in-depth knowledge of the selected theme and its use in practice.

Intended learning outcomes:

Having passed the exam, the students will, in particular, be able to:

  1. recognize and evaluate the fundamental ideational processes and ideological schools of thought in past and contemporary European political and legal culture;
  2. read and interpret the fundamental texts in the fields of political philosophy, social ethics, and law;
  3. engage in discussions of fundamental past and contemporary political, legal, and ethical schools of thought;
  4. logically and comprehensively develop and express their own political, legal, or ethical viewpoints.

Learning and teaching methods:
The course shall consist of lectures presenting the relevant topics and questions, including their detailed explanation. This shall be complemented by asking questions and engaging in discussions between students and the lecturer as well as among the students themselves. The course shall also include seminar papers or essays, which require students’ personal efforts based on reading and commenting on selected texts.


The requirements for students are divided into two parts: getting a grasp of the content of the prescribed literature for the oral exam and the regular submission of essays (as seminar papers) based on the prescribed study literature or selected political and legal works. It is not possible to take the exam without having submitted the essays.

Lecturer's references:
Simon Malmenvall was born in 1991 in Triest (Italy). In 2012 Malmenvall graduated in history and Russian studies at the Faculty of Arts within the University of Ljubljana. In 2014 he concluded his graduate studies with a master degree in history at the mentioned faculty. In the same year he received the Student Prešeren Award of the Faculty of Arts for his master thesis on the relations between Kievan Rus’ and Byzantium. In 2018 he obtained a doctoral degree in theology at the Faculty of Theology within the University of Ljubljana. In 2019 he completed the state qualifying examination in librarianship at the National and University Library of Slovenia.

From 2016 and 2018 Malmenvall worked as a junior research fellow at the Faculty of Theology where he primarily studied intellectual history of the East Slavs during the middle ages. In 2016 he became assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Business Studies within the Catholic Institute (Ljubljana) in the field of philosophy, religious studies, and applied ethics. In 2017 he became assistant lecturer at the Chair of Philosophy of the Faculty of Theology. From 2018 he works as the head of scientific-research work at the Faculty of Business Studies (in 2019 renamed to Faculty of Law and Business Studies), head of the Library of the Catholic Institute, and research fellow at the Faculty of Theology. In 2018 he became assistant professor (docent) at the Faculty of Business Studies in the field of philosophy, religious studies, and applied ethics. In 2019 he achieved the habilitation as assistant professor (docent) at the Faculty of Theology in the field of religious studies and religious anthropology. From 2019 to 2021 he is the head of the postdoctoral basic research project “Ruler Saints (Martyrs) on the Periphery of Medieval Europe: Kievan Rus’, Norway, Dioclea” financed by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). From 2009 Malmenvall published over one hundred scientific works (articles, book chapters, etc.) and translations in the field of cultural and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, ecumenical theology, ecclesiology, and history of literature. His main research interest is history and theological thought of the East Christendom and Catholic-East Orthodox relations. He is the author of the scientific monograph Culture of Kievan Rus’ and Christian Historical Consciousness (2019, published by the Faculty of Theology). He was one of the contributors preparing the first Slovene edition (2015) of the main East Slavic medieval source, chronicle Tale of Bygone Years, and the first Slovene edition (2019) of other representative East Slavic texts from the eleventh century (both editions were published by the Department of Slavic Studies at the Faculty of Arts). He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Res novae (published by the Faculty of Law and Business Studies), member of the editorial board of the journal School Chronicle (published by the Museum of Education and Pedagogics of Slovenia), and member of the editorial board of the journal Galychyna (published by the Precarpathian National University of Vasyl Stefanik, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine). In 2018 he received the prestigious Solemn Charter for Young University Teachers and University Associates awarded by the University of Ljubljana. He translated into Slovene language (2019, first volume; 2020, second volume; published by the Cultural and Art Society Logos) the monumental work Ways of Russian Theology (1937) written by the Russian East Orthodox theologian and historian Georges Florovsky. He was a co-translator preparing the first Slovene edition of the Selected Philosophical Works of Vladimir Solovyov (2019, published by the Cultural and Art Society Logos). Malmenvall actively speaks Slovene, Russian, English, Italian, and Serbian language, he is a passive speaker of German, Ukrainian, Latin, and Church Slavic.

Sicris code: 39082
Complete bibliography: https://bib.cobiss.net/biblioweb/biblio/si/slv/cris/39082

Refererence :

  • Malmenvall, Simon. 2016. Enciklika Laudato si: kriza zahodnega individualizma v kontekstu politične antropologije in odprtosti katoliškega družbenega nauka. Res novae, letn. 1, št. 1, str. 7–27.
  • Malmenvall, Simon. 2017. V iskanju idejnih predpogojev za uspeh boljševiške oktobrske revolucije. Bogoslovni vestnik, letn. 77, št. 3/4, str. 671–686.
  • Malmenvall, Simon. 2019. Ruler Martyrs among Medieval Slavs: Boris and Gleb of Rus' and Jovan Vladimir of Dioclea. Orientalia christiana periodica, letn. 85, št. 2, str. 395–426.
  • Malmenvall, Simon. 2019. Kultura Kijevske Rusije in krščanska zgodovinska zavest. Ljubljana: Teološka fakulteta UL.